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Merinda Taylor

Head of E-commerce and Digital – Digital & Ecommerce

I had this quote on my desk as a high school student and still think about it sometimes " You must do the thing you think you cannot do" (Eleanor Roosevelt) 

I still remember vividly about 10 years ago when I went 'back to work' after having my two children and running my own business from home for a few years. I applied for role I did not think I would be selected for, working at a central London prestigious digital marketing agency, who managed the European Mazda digital account. It was my role to expand upon this and work closely with the Mazda head office in Hiroshima Japan to manage the global Mazda digital business. I felt truly daunted and during my first week at the company I met senior Mazda members from Japan at a car show in Frankfurt and then 2 months later in Japan. I was on the fastest learning curve and truly thrown in the deep-end! In hindsight though, there really is no better way to learn. I was doing the things I thought I could not. 

It was extremely tough leaving my young children during this time and I barely saw them for the first 6 months or so. On the other hand, when I was in the office I felt so privileged I could actually get a cup of coffee whenever I wanted and go to the toilet without a toddler at my heels! It felt like true luxury at times as mothers who work from home or manage a family know how tough it can be. 

Looking back at my career now, from working very early mornings at the airport before university for the Japan Travel Bureau (JTB), to two years in a village government office in Japan and later an intense time working in digital marketing agencies on large corporate accounts, it would be fair to say I have made many 'mistakes' along the way. But this has all become my 'experience' which has led me to where I am today, in my dream role of combining digital marketing and Japanese culture & food at the Japan Centre Group. 

If I have one piece of advice, always go for it and even if you think you cannot do something or perhaps don't think you fit a job description perfectly, if you want it definitely apply! I have never met every criteria of a job description but I think passion and desire and then hard work shines through more and really is more important than ticking boxes. You can do it! 

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